There’s a reason Dr Bill Lumsden has been crowned Master Distiller two years in a row. He makes really nice whisky, across two very different brands. His latest Ardbeg expression is Ardbeg Kelpie, a limited edition bottle released to celebrate Ardbeg Day in 2017, named after the Scottish shape-shifting sea creature rumoured to resemble a horse or bull.
Naturally, the whisky brings forth the marine theme, matured in oak from the Black Sea Coast. Like the sea itself, there is a wondrous depth and powerfulness to the dram, with an intense nose and a rich, never-ending mouthfeel. There is initial notes of spice and peat on the palette which settle to reveal sweetness from toffee and salty dark chocolate. With a drop or two of water, the whisky takes a new shape, easing the peat and revealing a delicious and approachable whisky that will impress any enthusiast.
Ardbeg Kelpie was recently awarded Whisky of the Year at the International Whisky Competition as well as Best New Release, Best Single Malt (Islay), Best Peated Malt and Best Single Malt No Age Statement. Consequently, it is currently sold out, but be prepared to pay $179 or more when it returns to select retailers on June 3, 2017.
You can join the Ardbeg Committee here.